By Gudrun Schultz

  VIRGINIA, April 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Top Protestant leaders in the United States are calling for a united response from Protestants in rejecting "anti-Catholic bigotry" in the media.

"Protestants have a special duty to condemn anti-Catholic bigotry…Our Catholic brethren should not have to wait to hear our voices forcefully raised against the bigotry now directed against them," wrote Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, in a BreakPoint Commentary published April 26.

  Colson pointed to recent mainstream media coverage of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act as an example of blatant anti-Catholicism at work.  An editorial cartoon published in the Philadelphia Inquirer portrayed the five Catholic justices who voted in favour of the ban in bishops’ mitres, implying they had voted to impose their personal religious beliefs on America.

"If you uphold a law approved by both parties in Congress and supported by most Americans, you are imposing your morality," Colson wrote. "But if you vote against the ban, you have nobly kept your religious views from interfering with your job. The ugly implication here is obvious: that it is not possible for faithful Catholic judges to carry out their responsibility to interpret and uphold the law."

"Imagine the reaction if a cartoonist had suggested this of other religious groups—if they had portrayed justices wearing yarmulkes or holding the Koran. Joseph Cella, head of a Catholic pro-life group, is right in saying that the Philadelphia Inquirer cartoon is "venomous, terribly misleading, and blatantly anti-Catholic."

  Colson joined with other Christian leaders in issuing a statement "calling on Protestants to join us in condemning this bigotry."

"We also call on groups that present themselves as the enemies of prejudice to join us as well. And in particular, we invite Americans United to do so. Let us know once and for all: Are they selective opponents of prejudice? Do they regard anti-Catholicism as an acceptable form of bigotry?"

  Colson encouraged subscribers to the Inquirer to drop their subscriptions or boycott advertising products until the paper issues an apology.

"All forms of bigotry are vile and must be exposed for what they are: attacks on the very character of a civil society. Apologies are called for."

  Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, also condemned the cartoon on the day it was published, saying, "When the U.S. Supreme Court said ‘no’ to partial-birth abortion, I wrote, ‘We are waiting for the anti-Catholic bigots to go bonkers over the fact that all five of the justices who voted against infanticide are Roman Catholic."

  See BreakPoint coverage:

  http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=6427

  See related LifeSIteNews coverage:

  Joint Evangelical and Catholic Document on Abortion calls it Murder
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06102305.html